It has been seven months in the making, but on Wednesday night (London time), Westfield Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams finally made her debut for Arsenal Women.
The Australia number one was named in the line up for the Gunners FA Women's League Cup clash against North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Williams became the fifth Australian woman and second goalkeeper, after Sara King in the 90s, to pull on the famous crest.
The match resulted in a 5-4 penalty win after the two teams were deadlocked 2-2 at the end of 90 minutes.
“It was really nice to be out on the pitch again,” Williams told matildas.com.au.
“Obviously my last game was the grand final in the W-League. It has been a long time coming so I was really excited to put the boots and gloves back on.”
Williams suffered an ankle injury during pre-season that resulted in surgery. While she missed the early part of the domestic season, the custodian's recovery was relatively smooth with her return to the pitch a welcome sight to Westfield Matildas' supporters and for Williams herself.
“It was great to be in the line-up for Arsenal. I’ve always wanted to play over here in the WSL and to do it for the club in the [North London] Derby was pretty exciting.”
The thing I missed most was being out there and playing with the team. I missed getting able to yell and just feeling natural again in my goalkeeping position and role."
With her vocal presence at the back, Williams was right into the swing of things for Arsenal, making some key saves for the Gunners.
The match ended in an unexpected fashion with Williams straight into a penalty shootout in her debut fixture.
“I wasn’t really expecting a penalty shootout,” Williams laughed. “It was kind of crazy to be thrown into not only a game, but then a penalty shootout. But that was fun!”
“The goalkeeper can be the hero or something else; that is kind of what happens.”
Unfortunatey for Arsenal, the penalty shootout win and the bonus point were not enough to keep them in the hunt for the FA Women's League Cup.
While it was the end for the 2020 finalists, for Williams it is just the beginning of what she hopes is a successful Arsenal season and stay.
“That was exciting to debut for a new club and a new team. It was a good start and I can’t wait to continue the rest of the season.”